Finding Courage and Wisdom on the Path to Wholeness
Happy Wednesday, TSJ Readers!
Here at TSJ headquarters your support team – both the real people (Ms. Margie and Mr. John) and the stuffed animals who think they are real (Solomon, SJ and Sigmund) – are all aware that many of you are teachers and/or parents dealing with tired, restless, edgy and somewhat challenging kids as the school year winds down. Your team is behind you in love and prayers. And although this topic is very important today, I will try to keep it as light as possible.
Truthfully, Solomon and I simply want to remind you that discouragement is inevitable at times, but the scriptures promise us enough strength for each day. Yes, the “one day at a time” philosophy of living has a history of being the best way.
We need reminders we are given the gifts of mind, body and spirit to make our way on the journey. And we are never really alone. Sometimes, though, we cry out because we do not see with our physical sight nor fully believe in our hearts that God, (Chief Shepherd), is always fully present with us and always abundantly doling out Love, Grace and Mercy for our challenges.
With his solemn conviction, Solomon puffed up his chest and said, “Tell our peeps to believe it, because it is True.”
Solomon seems to trust this inner kind of Knowing. He says, “Ms. Margie, it is called faith.”
Last week we reflected on “Who are You?” As common as it might sound, I concluded that I believe part of the answer rests in knowing Who we belong to … or “Whose we are.”
When we know Who we belong to, live for, answer to and long to please – we have a deep sense of belonging. In order for children to discover who they are, they do best when they feel a deep sense of belonging to family (or whose they are).
A sense of belonging means we matter. As we age, we come to realize that no human being can fully satisfy that deep need for belonging. Belonging is an inner longing to be whole and fully accepted.
So, today let’s ask ourselves, “What Do I Believe?” and “Why Does it Matter?”
The second question (in my mind) is easier, so let’s start with that.
Why Does it Matter what we believe?
It matters because we live what we believe.
Even as I wrote this, I heard may inner voice say, “Whoa! Wow – that rings as jarringly true.”
Our actions reflect our underlying beliefs.
What Do You Believe?
Do you ever wonder what you really believe . . . about God . . . about life . . . about things you read . . . about what we are here on earth for . . . or about love, purpose, people, success etc. ?
What do you believe is your purpose? Remember, what you believe steers the direction of your thoughts and actions.
Sometimes we need to sit back and listen deeply to others. Sometimes we find out what we believe when others do things that causes us anger, fear, angst. Either way, it calls for observation, listening and an open mind to learning. Again, how we parent, how we treat others, how we live each day etc. all are rooted in the soil or ground of our beliefs.
Last weekend while attending Megan’s (my niece) college graduation one of the student speakers shared a poignant story about watching another student eat a grapefruit.
She explained . . . when she was a freshman she happened to observe a student eating a grapefruit like one would eat an orange. The girl peeled it like an orange and ate it by sections like an orange. The speaker shared that she had always used a spoon scooping out the grapefruit, and never knew there was another way until she saw this.
The student eating the grapefruit never knew that she changed the speaker’s life. She was just living what she knew. And the lesson for her was not so much about how to eat a grapefruit differently, as about the importance of learning from each other.
On the more serious side, I have been searching my own self of late asking what I believe about myself, God, others and what I am here to do.
The other day Mr. John and I were reading from Today, a daily devotional booklet. This month’s theme is “Life in God’s Garden.” I believe we humans are like plants, each requiring certain kinds of care. I believe in God and God’s Love for all of us. I believe I was born to express that love in my own way. So I was especially interested in and open to the garden analogy. Then it happened. One sentence stated exactly what I believe:
“Cultivating the gifts of God for the glory of God is what we are meant for.” (Don Baker)
No matter how discouraged you may become, remember your purpose is to be you, and to use your unique gifts for the glory of God. What an awesome purpose that is for daily living both in the grind and in the grace of each day.
Here’s to playing in the pastures today knowing who we are,Whose we are and what we believe so we can be God’s good news on earth. We need good news!
And there is more than one way to eat a grapefruit. so be you and cultivate your gifts for the glory of God. I will work to do the same.
Margie and Solomon